The Sopana Academy and the Indian Orthodox Church

The Sopana Academy and the Indian Orthodox Church

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Orthodox Seminary News supports the work done in Orthodox Christian seminaries, as they are the heart and future of the Orthodox priesthood and lay leadership. Widespread understanding of the mission and activities of our seminaries and their sacred work is an essential part of a healthy church.

This month, for The Sopana Academy and the Indian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, and Archpriest Dr. Steven Voytovich, Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, and Archpriest Dr. John Behr, Dean of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, will attend celebrations in Kottayam, Kerala, India. One of these events will be the ceremony marking the opening of the Academy.

‘Sopana’ in Sanskrit and modern Indian languages means stepping stone. The Sopana Academy is a broad-based centre for studies and research in Orthodox Theology and spirituality in dialogue with the wider cultural and intellectual parts of society. The academy attached to Mar Baselios Dayara (monastery), and is presided over by His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the East. It was the spiritual vision of the Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Ivanios (+2013) of blessed memory, who founded the Monastery. More information found via the bulletin for Sopana Academy.

Invited by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Metropolitan Tikhon will deliver an address during the valedictory celebrations of the Orthodox Theological Seminary on November 26, 2015; our Thanksgiving Day!  The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, is also known as the Indian Orthodox Church. It dates back to the apostolic acts of St. Thomas in the 1st Century and it is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox Church with its center in the Indian state of Kerala.

“Through its seminaries, the Orthodox Church in America has developed a strong relationship with the Malankara Church in North America in recent years. Many Malankarese bishops, priests, deacons and lay leaders have studied at Saint Tikhon’s and Saint Vladimir’s seminaries.  Metropolitan Zachariah is a member of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Board of Trustees, while two Malankarese clergy, Priest M. K. Kuriakose and Priest Dr. Varghese M. Daniel, serve on the faculties of Saint Tikhon’s and Saint Vladimir’s seminaries respectively. The ancient Malankara Church traces its origin to the Apostle Thomas.  Headquartered in the southern Indian province of Kerala, it numbers about 1000 parishes in India and another 200 parishes in North America.”

For more information, please see the full OCA article, along with another OCA posting from the summer.

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Dean Franck

Dean Franck is a first year student in the Master's of Divinity Program at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is also a participant of our Digital Disciples Program.